April Briggs, a bookkeeper at Max Bruner Jr. Middle School, has been dismissed from her position by the Okaloosa County School District following allegations of financial misconduct.
- The dismissal, effective as of November 13, 2023, came after a thorough investigation into multiple violations of internal fund accounting procedures and the alleged misappropriation of the school’s internal funds, according to the Okaloosa County School District.
The issue first came to light on May 4, 2023, when Heather Williams, the principal of Bruner Middle School, cited concerns about financial information she was not receiving from Briggs.
Subsequent investigations led by Williams and the District’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) unveiled questionable accounting practices related to the school’s internal funds, according to the OCSD.
Briggs was promptly placed on administrative leave pending further action. The gravity of the situation prompted the involvement of law enforcement, and Superintendent Marcus Chambers directed the CFO to engage Carr, Riggs & Ingram, a certified public accounting firm, to perform a forensic audit.
- The findings from this audit were shared with both the Okaloosa County School District and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Based on the results of the forensic audit and the District’s internal investigation, Superintendent Chambers recommended Briggs’s termination, a decision that was subsequently ratified by the Okaloosa County School Board on Tuesday.
“We expect all of our employees to perform their jobs with the highest level of professionalism, and to blatantly disregard that expectation in any form is unacceptable,” stated Superintendent Marcus Chambers. “As I have stated previously, individuals will be held accountable if they fail to meet the standards we’ve set. I want to thank Carr, Riggs & Ingram, and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this matter.”
A criminal investigation is ongoing by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. At this time, no additional details into the alleged misappropriation of school funds has been released.